May 17, 2019
Bonnie Jean Bowne, 65, passed away on May 17, 2019 with her mother by her bedside. Bonnie was born on August 27, 1953 in Ames, Iowa to John and Lea Bowne. The family moved to Arvada, Colorado in 1960. Bonnie graduated from Arvada High School, and later from Colorado State University with a degree in finance and accounting and minors in art history and anthropology. Bonnie will be remembered for capturing the beauty of nature through her painting and photography. Her passion began in her teens when an instructor at a church camp taught her how to mix paint colors for different effects. Her talents flourished under the instruction of Jeannie MacKenzie of Ft Collins, Dan Young of Silt, Colorado and Jim Wilcox of Jackson, Wyoming. She received numerous awards in juried art exhibitions. In Bonnie’s words, “I strive to use the medium of oil paint to depict the light and beauty that I see in God’s creation all around me.” Her mother, Lea, fondly remembers nearly 100 trips to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in spring, summer, and fall for photography and painting. Bonnie’s paintings were displayed and sold at the Art Center at Estes Park. One of her specialties in painting was capturing the breathtaking beauty of aspen trees in the fall. Her forte in photography was capturing wild animals in their habitats at just the right moment. She patiently waited for spectacular shots of bears and bear cubs, wolves, foxes, moose, ermine, owls, otters, beavers and badgers. Friends looked forward to receiving one of her Christmas cards each year that contained a photograph from a recent trip to Yellowstone. Bonnie respected wild animals so much that she often declined to tell people where photos were taken because she didn’t want the animals to be disturbed. In addition to wild animals, she had a special love for Siberian Huskies and enjoyed the companionship of her 2 huskies, Tanya and Tasha. Her working career began with a job in receiving at the Bible Book Store owned by the Yancey family in downtown Fort Collins. She later transferred to Yancey Produce where she worked for over 40 years ending her career as CFO. Bonnie was proud of the conditioning work she did with her trainer Matt Konopka, to prepare for the Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Participating in that race was one of her proudest achievements. Bonnie was predeceased by her father John in 1977, and her sister Ann McClelland in 2018. She is survived by her mother, Lea, who was a beloved companion on their many journeys to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, as well as a devoted caregiver during Bonnie’s illness. In addition, Bonnie is also survived by her close friends: Coreen Boeding, Matt Knopka, Fred McClanahan Jr., and Vickie Mastron. There will be a Celebration of Life Service on Thursday May 30, at 11:00 a.m. followed by a light luncheon at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2000 South Lemay in Fort Collins. Bonnie specifically requested a gathering that focused on the joys in her life, and guests are invited to wear colorful clothing in honor of her passion for the beauty in nature. Memorial contributions may be made to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Ft Collins, or the Art Center at Estes Park 517 Big Thompson Avenue Unit 245, Estes Park, CO 80517. Fun Facts about Bonnie: 1. During a winter trip to Yellowstone, Bonnie was thrilled to see two wolves lying in the snow. Hours later, she zoomed the photograph only to discover that her “wolves” were actually coyotes! 2. Bonnie loved to photograph foxes and traveled far to find them. Once a neighbor called to tell her how much she was enjoying watching a fox with several kits who were denned under Bonnie’s front porch in Fort Collins. 3. Lea fondly remembers Bonnie’s love for all holidays, but especially May Day and Halloween! 4. Bonnie used to bring work home from Yancey’s so her mom, Lea, could help her finish her bookwork. Because of her background in accounting, Lea was put on Vancey’s payroll and worked for her daughter for twenty years!! 5. One summer in Yellowstone, Bonnie had set up her camera on the hood of her car to photograph a bear in the distance. As she was waiting for the perfect shot, Lea tapped on the windshield to warn Bonnie that the bear was getting close to the car - too close. Bonnie bolted into the car. Fortunately the camera equipment and Bonnie survived the close call, but she missed the photo opportunity!
Bonnie Jean Bowne, 65, passed away on May 17, 2019 with her mother by her bedside. Bonnie was born on August 27, 1953 in Ames, Iowa to John and Lea Bowne. The family moved to Arvada, Colorado in 1960. Bonnie graduated from Arvada High School,... View Obituary & Service Information
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